W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webpayments@w3.org > November 2015

Markup for payable HTML resources

From: Meinhard Benn <meinhard@satoshipay.io>
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2015 00:37:06 +0100
To: public-webpayments@w3.org
Message-ID: <564BBA22.3000307@satoshipay.io>
Hello fellow web payment enthusiasts,

I have been reading this list for a while and I'd like to introduce
myself and ask for your opinion on an issue I'm currently trying to resolve.

I am the founder of SatoshiPay and we are looking at making paying for
web content as frictionless as possible for all parties involved. As our
payment layer we chose bitcoin payment channels (a simple "smart
contract" on the bitcoin blockchain), because of its extremely low
transaction fees - think fractions of a cent. Our system works without
any download or sign-up for the end user, because we ship a complete
bitcoin wallet written in JavaScript with the website the payable
content is on and instantly create a private key if the user doesn't
have one yet.

To make a simple integration for the content publisher or merchant as
easy as possible we simply added a few data properties to HTML tags,
which will be parsed by our JavaScript widget. In code it currently
looks like this:

<div class="satoshipay-content-item-text satoshipay-masked"
data-satoshipay-id=563cc11c8c823d110025e951 data-content-length=1170
<script src="https://wallet.satoshipay.io/satoshipay.js"></script>

Dump this anywhere on any website and it will just work. Your payments
will be donated to our office coffee fund. :)

Some documentation for the enriched div tag:

  /* trigger class, plus design */
    class="satoshipay-content-item-text satoshipay-masked"
  /* content URL after payment */
  /* product ID at SatoshiPay */
  /* content length (for text) */
  /* price in satoshis (0.00000001 bitcoin) */

What's happening in the http://will.satoshipay.eu/ example is that after
top-up the JS bitcoin wallet connects to the SatoshiPay server via
WebSocket, negotiates the smart contract and moves funds to a multi-sig
bitcoin address. With each payment the contract gets adjusted and a
payment certificate is issued to the client by the SatoshiPay server.
This certificate (currently a pre-shared secret) is shown by the client
to the content server, which then ships the content. At no point
SatoshiPay ever holds control over funds. We are merely the broker.

Now, while the payments work fine, there are a few issues with the
markup above as it's neither flexible nor consistent. So that's my where
my question starts. My current idea is to redesign as follows:



 - there is a vendor prefix
 - different text types could be rendered and styled differently
 - the position of the SatoshiPay payment cert in the content retrieval
   URL can be controlled by the publisher
 - different currencies are supported
 - price denomination meets a standard

A payable image could look like this:


Video/audio tags and download links would follow a similar pattern.

So, I was wondering, did you spend some time on thinking about a
standard for this already? The only W3C resource I found is a retired
draft from 1999: http://www.w3.org/TR/Micropayment-Markup/

On https://www.w3.org/community/webpayments/ I see a lot of JSON, but no
HTML markup.

Other thoughts? Are we thinking the right direction here?

Cheers and thanks for listening, Meinhard Benn.
Received on Wednesday, 18 November 2015 10:09:48 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Friday, 17 January 2020 19:07:43 UTC